The biggest story in Sky Bet League One this weekend, is that despite over six Burton Albion first team players, as well as four members of staff, testing positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, this fixture will go ahead.
Jake Buxton's Burton Albion have had a dreadful start to the campaign, sitting second bottom going into this weekend, and things are only going from bad to worse for the Midlands outfit.
With over six players isolating, the Brewers are stripped to bare bones this weekend, having to recall two loaned-out players to even fill the required squad size.
The fragility of the Burton side will suit high flying Hull City. The Yorkshire side sit in fifth, and despite a dismal showing last season, which resulted in relegation, Grant McCann's team have picked themselves up quickly and have began their first season in England's third tier since 2005, in solid form.
Keane Lewis-Potter is out of the fixture this weekend. The young in-form forward is having to isolate following his partner testing positive for Covid-19 - he himself has tested negative.
Goalkeeper George Long returned to training this week, after he missed Tuesday's fixture with Harrogate Town. However, following a negative Covid-19 result, he re-joined the squad.
Grant McCann otherwise has several options this weekend, with no further issues throughout the team.
It is not yet known the identity of all the players and members of staff who are isolating due to testing positive for Coronavirus - however, all players involved in Tuesday's EFL Trophy fixture versus Fulham u-23's are not on the list.
The Brewers have been forced to recall Callum Hawkins and Tom Hewlett prematurely from their loan spells to fill the squad for the fixture this weekend.
Both club captain John Brayford and Neal Eardley missed training this week due to minor knocks, but are in contention for the game this weekend.
Hull City: Ingram, Emmanuel, Burke, de Wijs, Elder, Honeyman, Smallwood, Docherty, Wilks, Adelakun, Magennis.
Burton Albion: Garrett, Eardley, Brayford, O'Toole, Gallacher, Edwards, Hart, Lawless, Gilligan, Hutchinson, Hemmings.
Ones to watch
Mallik Wilks for Hull City is an exciting, forward-thinking winger, with the goal always in his sights. The former Barnsley man, joined the Tigers in the summer for £720k, a large fee for a now League One side.
Ciaran Gilligan is the latest top prospect from the Burton academy set-up. The young Englishman follows in the foot steps of others coming through the well established academy in recent years, including current team-mate Ben Fox, and former Brewer Matty Palmer.
How to watch
The fixture will be viewable from both club's respective ‘iFollow’ streams at the cost of £10 (linked below)
Grant McCann spoke to the club's official website, detailing his apprehension not fall into the trap of over confidence:
“Performance-wise, they probably haven’t got the results in terms of what they’ve shown,” McCann commented.
“They’ve got good energy in midfield, they can run and get about people in there. They’ve got an experienced head in there in Stephen Quinn, who used to play for Hull.
“In the forward areas of the pitch, they’ve got people who can hurt you, people like Lucas Akins and Kane Hemmings. Niall Ennis scored a few goals last year at Doncaster.
“If you’re not right, you can get beat. It’s no easy game for us – it’s a tough game. We know what they’re about.
“It’s important we make sure we get our own game right and we show what we’ve shown over the last couple of games in the cups.”
Jake Buxton spoke to Burton's official website, explaining his frustrations regarding the fixture:
“We did a mass testing on Tuesday and that was the results that came back.
“This is going to be an ongoing situation for the next couple of weeks.
“I have spoken to all the players who have tested positive and they are all OK. They have mild headaches, some are more ill than others, but it’s more concern about taking it home to their families.
“It would have been ideal to have had two weeks away and come back but we do have enough players to compete. It’s a challenge at this moment in time but we have to deal with it.”
Buxton believes this is an opportunity for his players to come together and overcome the challenges they are facing.
“We have enough attitude and character to go and perform away at Hull on Saturday. Reece Hutchinson, Owen Gallacher and Ben Hart played really well on Tuesday, along with Ciaran Gilligan who has been outstanding since coming into the first-team fold.
“I told the lads this has to galvanise us as a group. It’s tough when influential players are missing but that means there is an opportunity for others to step up. I have been in changing rooms with a freak injury list and we are in a similar situation now.”